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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Of late many philosophers have taken up the mantle of public philosophy, but, unlike Dewey, many think that the goal is to perform philosophy in public, to broadcast widely their arguments, or become renowned as public intellectuals. Many aim to improve the public, to help people think more rationally and critically, argue more deliberatively and logically, and perhaps see the light about philosophical matters. But Dewey shows that none of such work is democratic, for it usurps the role of a public to identify problems and their sources and skips over any need for public deliberation on what should be done. From a Deweyan perspective, the key for public philosophy is to remember that public problems are best fathomed by the public itself, which may enlist experts or governments to fix the problems but alone is the best judge of what needs to be addressed and whether the remedy is successful.

Keywords: John Dewey, public, problems, democracy, democratic, philosophy, public philosophy

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